Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

20 July 2011

Serbia: Final Hague war crimes suspect arrested

Serbia: Final Hague war crimes suspect arrested

The arrest today of the last Serbian suspect wanted by a UN international criminal tribunal is a further step towards justice for the victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia, Amnesty International said today.

Goran Hadžić is accused of joint criminal responsibility for the murder, imprisonment and forced labour of Croat and other civilians from 1991 to 1993.

He had been on the run since the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicted him in 2004.

“This long overdue arrest will bring justice at last to the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Croatia,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s Serbia researcher.  

“Goran Hadžić’s arrest underscores the continuing and urgent need for authorities in countries of the former Yugoslavia to investigate and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, to prosecute those suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.”

“There are tens of thousands of such suspects where national authorities have failed to open any investigation.”

“They must show political will and perseverance, while the international community should monitor the progress of domestic courts in bringing the perpetrators to justice for the horrific crimes committed by all sides to the conflicts and provide financial and other assistance where needed.”

As President of the self-declared Croatian Serb Republic of Krajina, Hadžić allegedly ordered the forcible removal of Croats and others from the territory between 1991 and 1993.

Among the war crimes Hadžić has been linked with is the November 1991 torture and murder of more than 250 Croats and others who were taken from the Vukovar hospital to Ovčara farm by members of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and paramilitary groups.

Hadžić’s arrest comes less than two months after the arrest of the Bosnian Serb former general Ratko Mladić.

“The Security Council must now ensure that the Tribunal has the time and resources to conduct the trial of both Goran Hadžić and Ratko Mladić in accordance with the highest standards of international justice,” said Sian Jones.

Read More

Ratko Mladić arrest ‘a major step towards justice’ (News, 26 May 2011)
Croatia: Briefing to the European Commission on the progress made by the Republic of Croatia on prosecution of war crimes (Report, 20 May 2011)
Croatia: Key international court ruling delivers justice to victims of war crimes (Press release, 15 April 2011)
Karadžic trial must bring justice to victims from Bosnia war (News, 26 October 2009)

Issue

International Justice 
Trials And Legal Systems 

Country

Serbia 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Campaigns

International Justice 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

21 August 2014

Children accused of being members of armed groups in the conflict in Mali are languishing in adult jails while human rights abuses continue.

Read more »
15 August 2014

The number of killings perpetrated by the police is on the rise again in the Dominican Republic whilst legislation intended to fix the problem stalls and stagnates in Congress... Read more »

29 August 2014

The execution of two men in Japan on Friday flies in the face of growing calls in the country to halt the use of capital punishment, said Amnesty International.

Read more »
29 August 2014

Russia’s official branding of a civil society organization as a “foreign agent”, an expression akin to “spying”, for speaking out on Ukraine is a sign of the country’s... Read more »

31 August 2014

Egypt is tightening its chokehold on civil society as the country’s independent NGOs face the risk of being shut down if they fail to comply with a compulsory requirement to... Read more »